Archive for the ‘Managing Partner Diversity Collaborative’ Category.

Warner Norcross Issues 8th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report

2014 DIAR

Warner Norcross & Judd has issued its eighth annual report regarding the firm’s initiatives to become a more diverse and inclusive organization. The 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report includes a letter from Managing Partner Doug Wagner in which he reviews the firm’s progress. It also includes brief articles regarding some of the firm’s diverse professionals and a demographic profile of the firm. To see a copy of the report, click on the image above. Copies of the firm’s annual reports for 2006 and 2012 may be found on the firm’s website by clicking here.

Young Attorneys Tell Why They Chose to Start Their Careers in Grand Rapids in this grab LAW Video

Warner’s Kelechi Adibe is among the attorneys interviewed in this great video from grab LAW about what Grand Rapids has to offer young professionals.  grab LAW is an initiative of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative to help match minority and female attorneys with law career opportunities in West Michigan. Learn more at www.grabLAW.org and follow grab LAW on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Warner Norcross & Judd is a charter member of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative. 

Warner Attorneys Participate in Workshop on Business Development for Women and Persons of Color

Workshop 9-10-13Nine Warner Norcross & Judd attorneys were among 52 attorneys who participated in “Growing Your Practice: A Workshop on Business Development,” targeted at female attorneys and attorneys of color.  The half-day workshop, which was held on September 10, 2013, was sponsored by the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.

 The Workshop was conducted by Jane DiRenzo Pigott of R3 Group LLC.  Ms. Pigott brought a wealth of practical knowledge and insight gained by her many years in private practice. She served as chair of the environmental practices at both Katten Muchen and Winston & Strawn in Chicago.  At Winston & Strawn, she was the first woman to serve on the firm’s Executive and Compensation Committees.  In addition, she created and implemented the firm’s diversity initiative, for which the firm has been recognized multiple times with the prestigious Sager Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

 Following the workshop, the participants attended a luncheon where they had the opportunity to meet with their respective managing partners to discuss their business plans and the support they needed from their law firms.

 The Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative was formed in 2011 by 12 of the largest law offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in association with the Grand Rapids Bar Association, to promote diversity and inclusion in our firms and the profession. Conducting the annual workshop is one of 45 action steps in the Collaborative’s Action Plan adopted in 2012.

Warner Leaders Participate in Inclusive Leadership Workshop

Arin ReevesWarner Norcross & Judd’s Managing Partner, Doug Wagner, was among 11 leaders from the firm who participated in the first annual Inclusive Leadership Workshop sponsored by the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.  The workshop, which was conducted on June 3 and June 4,   explored the difference between diversity and inclusion and the business case for diversity and inclusion in law firms.  Participants discussed implicit biases and learned how to identify impediments to inclusion in their firms.

The workshop was conducted by Dr. Arin Reeves, of Nextions LLC.  Dr. Reeves is one of the foremost consultants in the area of law firm diversity and inclusion. Her book, The Next IQ: The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders was published in 2012 by the American Bar Association. Dr. Reeves has worked with law firms and legal departments on diversity and inclusion for nearly 20 years. She is an advisor to the Center for Legal Inclusiveness in Colorado and is the co-author of its manual, Beyond Diversity: Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace.

 The Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative was formed in 2011 by 12 of the largest law offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in association with the Grand Rapids Bar Association, to promote diversity and inclusion in our firms and the profession. Conducting the annual workshop is one of 45 action steps in the Collaborative’s Action Plan adopted in 2012.  Over 40 leaders from the 12 member firms participated in the workshop.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly Recognizes Warner’s Diversity Partner as a Leader in the Law

IMG_6536-Leader-in-the-LawYesterday, Michigan Lawyers Weekly honored Rodney D. Martin, the Diversity Partner with the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, as one of its 2013 Leaders in the Law.

Martin concentrates his practice on financial institutions, with an emphasis on bank regulatory issues, fair lending, financial privacy and related matters. He chairs the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group.

During his tenure as Diversity Partner at, Martin:

  • Has helped the firm develop a diversity and inclusion program that has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Diversity Visionary Award from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility, the Racial Justice Unity Award from Council 354 of the Knights of Peter Claver, the largest predominantly African-American organization within the Catholic Church, and designation as a “Diversity-Focused Company” by Corp! magazine.
  • Led Warner Norcross to be one of the first law firms to sign the Michigan Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion adopted by the State Bar of Michigan.
  • Was instrumental in establishing the Grand Rapids Bar Association’s Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative and in drafting its five-year action plan. In addition, Martin chairs the Collaborative’s committee on retention.
  • Was asked by the State Bar of Michigan to co-chair its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, charged with responsibility to advise the State Bar of Michigan leadership about initiatives to promote inclusion within the legal profession.
  • Oversees the Warner Norcross Minority scholarship program that annually awards tuition funding assistance to a minority law school student and a minority paralegal student. To date, the firm has assisted almost 60 students with close to $125,000 in funding.

“We are very proud that Rodney has been chosen by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for this honor,” said Managing Partner Douglas E. Wagner. “Rodney has been a true leader when it comes to developing and executing ideas and diversity programs that ensure we move forward as a firm, a community and a profession. He has been an active volunteer, engaged in organizations that make our community a better place to live and work.”

Martin serves on the Inclusion Advisory Council of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and on the advisory board of BL2END. He serves as facilitator for the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative, which is an initiative of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, or GRBA. GRBA gave Martin its 2012 President’s Award in recognition of his special contributions in service to the board of trustees, executive committee and executive director. He has been included in Best Lawyers in America for Banking and Finance Law and Financial Services Regulation Law from 1995-present.

Martin is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and Grand Rapids Bar Association.

 

Warner Norcross Diversity Partner Receives President’s Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association

5/3/2012
Rodney D. Martin, the Diversity Partner with the law firm of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has received the prestigious President’s Award from the Grand Rapids Bar Association, or GRBA.

The President’s Award is given annually and recognizes special contributions by a GRBA member in service to the board of trustees, executive committee and executive director.  Martin was recognized for his contributions to increasing diversity and inclusion within the Bar, particularly for his role in the creation of the five-year action plan for the Managing Partners’ Diversity Collaborative.  He accepted the award during the GRBA’s Law Day luncheon on May 3.

Martin has been a critical member of the GRBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was responsible for planning the well-received “Diversity Roundtable 2010: Retention of Diverse Attorneys” program that included two national keynote speakers.  Not only did Martin help select the speakers, he also facilitated the roundtable discussion.

Following that effort, he worked tirelessly on the Managing Partners’ Diversity Collaborative, which was signed in June 2011, and established workgroups in the areas of recruitment, retention and pipeline development.  He served as facilitator and reporter for the retention workgroup, as well as provided in-depth background information in all three areas.  Martin took on the responsibility of drafting the combined five-year action plan.  The plan was signed in March by the 13 participating law firms, including Warner Norcross.

“We are pleased to see Rodney recognized for his tremendous work in the area of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession,” said Douglas E. Wagner, managing partner of Warner Norcross.  “In addition to his many contributions, Rodney was the driving force behind the Managing Partners’ Collaborative Agreement and Action Plan, which is designed to achieve greater diversity and inclusion in the education, hiring, retention and promotion of attorneys in the Grand Rapids legal community.  He is deeply respected by legal practitioners throughout Michigan, and particularly here in Grand Rapids.”

Martin serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the State Bar of Michigan as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.  He also serves on the Advisory Council of BL2END and as a facilitator for the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.  Martin also served on the City of Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Sculpture Committee, which was recently honored with a 2012 Giants Award.

Martin concentrates his practice on financial institutions, with an emphasis on bank regulatory issues, fair lending, financial privacy and related matters.  He chairs the Financial Services Practice Group.